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Promises and Problems: The Bible and the Holy Land Today
- Course Dates: Mon 9 May 2016, 1:00 pm to Thu 12 May 2016, 2:00 pm
Starting from a discussion of some of the concerns raised by the realities of the Middle East, the Holy Land and Jerusalem today, this Bible study break will explore what resources the Bible can offer to engage with them.
It will also acknowledge that certain readings of the biblical material have clearly contributed to current tensions and difficulties. A selection of texts from different parts of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, will be explored in some detail with specific issues in mind. These will include the Abraham and Jacob stories in Genesis: are they a resource, or do they constitute an obstacle for the question of justice for the peoples of Israel/Palestine today? The Book of Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke will provide a biblical focus for discussion of the understanding of the place of Jerusalem within Jewish and Christian theology. The Gospel of John will be used to address the wider question of ‘holy places’ within Christian theology, as well as offering a backcloth for reflection on contemporary questions of Jewish-Christian relationships. We will also engage with the Book of Revelation given the considerable role it has played in the development of what is known as Christian Zionism.
Towards the end of our time we will assess in what ways our understanding of biblical theology and interpretation may have been challenged by the topics we have covered.
10 parts of beauty gave God to the world, 9 to Jerusalem and one to the remainder; 10 parts of sorrow gave God to the world, 9 to Jerusalem and one to the remainder. (Jewish Proverb)